Stocks held on to most of their gains in early afternoon trading on Wednesday after a statement from the U.S. central bank offered a moderately brighter economic outlook.

The Fed flagged risks to growth that appeared to leave open the door for further easing, even as monetary policy was left on hold.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 166.43 points, or 1.43 percent, to 11,824.39. The S&P 500 rose 18.02 points, or 1.48 percent, to 1,236.30. The Nasdaq Composite added 26.04 points, or 1.00 percent, to 2,633.00.

U.S. stocks were up after two days of losses, aided by upbeat job market data as investors eyed a crisis meeting about Greece.

(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)